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Walking the lonely conservative road in the Age of Trump

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Walking the lonely conservative road in the Age of Trump

If you’re a regular reader or listener of the Strident Conservative, hopefully both, you know that my central mission is to be a leading voice in the call for a return to conservatism and the Constitution. Since I place these values above political parties, I am an equal opportunity critic, holding members of every political stripe accountable when they fail to uphold these values.

Obviously, this puts me at odds with Democrats and the far-left, but it also puts me at odds with Republicans and so-called conservatives — a position that isn’t very lucrative personally nor professionally. Unlike membership in an exclusive club, standing for my principles carries a host of disadvantages, but that hasn’t always been the case.

In the days of Obama, standing for conservative values was easy. After all, Obama was a Democrat with heavy socialist leanings. Opposing him was not only acceptable, but it gave rise to the TEA Party and other conservative groups, and it was responsible for giving the GOP control of Congress.

But, alas, Republicans revealed themselves as spineless cowards who used the movement for their own political gain. Once in office, the GOP majority join in advancing the agenda of Barak Obama, Harry Reid, and Nancy Pelosi.

Now, in the Age of Trump the tables have turned for conservatives. Trump has completely hijacked the GOP, creating a new party molded in his image. He has redefined what it means to be conservative in Washington and he has neutered the so-called conservative media.

Unlike the days of Obama, conservatives are now criticized for opposing non-conservative principles, especially when they come from the lifelong Democrat with an “R” after his name currently occupying the White House. Once considered the base that held the remnants of Reagan conservatism together, conservatives are now forced to bow at the altar of Trump or be destroyed.

From his attacks on the Constitution to his trade wars, even so-called conservative groups like the House Freedom Caucus embrace and enable Donald Trump.

For example, Reps. Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Mark Meadows (R-NC) recently took steps to shut down the Mueller investigation by beginning impeachment proceedings against Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Additionally, Jordan recently announced his candidacy to replace Paul Ryan as House Speaker — if the GOP retains control — on a platform based on being “just like Trump.”

Trump’s “new” brand of conservatism is nothing but a pile of reheated nationalism leftovers from the 1930’s mixed with a bit of big-government progressivism and sprinkled with a dash of 1984. Not a dish I care to try.

Instead, I will remain on the path of my principles. It will be a lonely journey, but I’d rather the right road alone than walk the wrong road with the crowd.

Originally posted on The Strident Conservative.

 


David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative. His daily radio commentary is distributed by the Salem Radio Network and is heard on stations across America.

Follow the Strident Conservative on Twitter and Facebook. Subscribe to receive podcasts of radio commentaries: iTunes | Stitcher | Tune In | RSS

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Democrats

Dear proponents of limited government: It’s time to start speaking up now

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Dear proponents of limited government Its time to start speaking up now

For nearly a year, I’ve given the Republican Party a pass for the most part. I left the party in 2016 and after pursuing a third party for over a year, life pulled me back from the fray. When things calmed down (thank you, Lord!), I made a conscious decision to be lighter in my condemnation of the GOP as a whole for two very important reason.

First, there were signs of life in the party. They were faint, but it seemed at times to be possible for the party to do some good things like eliminating bureaucracy, cutting taxes, promoting a business-friendly atmosphere, and making proper foreign policy moves. They were far from good, let alone ideal, but I thought if we could keep pressing them towards smart moves on the border, gun owners’ rights, Obamacare, Planned Parenthood, and other areas in which they’ve failed so far, perhaps their decent work on taxes and regulations could be translated into other areas.

Second, the Democrats started to terrify me. Seriously, I’ve been contemplating moving the family to a remote area of Montana and going off the grid before the Democrats got their hands on enough power to do the damage they’ve been promising to do for the last year or so. I wasn’t one who thought Bill Clinton was a radical or Barack Obama was the antichrist. I always thought Clinton was a run-of-the-mill Democrat who could do some damage but not much, while Obama was an ambitious progressive who was nevertheless too smart to think he could make socialism a thing. Since the 2016 election, we’ve seen the Democratic Party go from progressives with bad ideas to far-left radicals who think the only way to go is to destroy America in a glorious explosion of their new Communist Manifesto, also known as the Green New Deal.

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Now that the GOP has demonstrated a toxic mixture of incompetence and false adherence to limiting government with their latest omnibus debacle, it’s time to return to my old stance of refusing to accept the binary choice. When choosing between bad and worse, it’s only a valid choice if the less-terrible option won’t kill you as well. The binary choice between hanging and drowning isn’t really a binary choice, and neither is the choice between the Republican Party and the Democratic Party.

There are three things that must be done going forward.

  1. Conservatives, Federalists, and Classical Liberals must find a way to united against the two party system. Whether that’s the formation of a new party (which I failed to do once already), a grassroots effort similar to the Tea Party (which worked for a short time before finding irrelevance), or some other method of unification against the putrid system that has engulfed nearly all of Washington DC, we have to find an outlet.
  2. NOQ Report will become a hub for bringing these thoughts together. This is something that I’ve found success with when I ran The New Americana. Now, it’s time to collect the voices of reason once again.
  3. Prayer. Lots of prayer.

I’ve reached out to some of my conservative and federalist friends. Over the next few weeks, we’ll see what can be done to make DC listen. In the meantime, be discerning and prepare to abandon the tribal mindset that has plagued this nation for too long.

 


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Democrats

Veronique de Rugy: Green New Deal would be hundreds of TRILLIONS of dollars in federal commitment

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Veronique de Rugy Green New Deal would be hundreds of TRILLIONS of dollars in federal commitment

If there’s a word that’s not necessarily negative one could use to describe the Green New Deal, it would be “ambitious.” The deal has so much wrapped into it that it’s hard to tell which components are designed to save the environment and which ones are intended to destroy the economy.

Estimates put costs for the “green side” of the resolution at somewhere between $12-$20 trillion. Then, there’s the Medicare-for-All component that is estimated at $32 trillion over a decade.

And that’s just the start.

This isn’t just a “green” deal. It’s a hodgepodge of policy proposals that include massively growing the welfare state, inserting government even more into the job markets, and a universal basic income that they refuse to actually call a universal basic income. The much-maligned FAQ that was posted and quickly removed from the website of sponsor Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) mentioned paying people who were unable or even “unwilling” to work.

“Even in the best case scenario where you substitute a UBI for all the other forms of welfare, it’s insane,” said Veronique de Rugy, Senior Research Fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, on ReasonTV.

But here’s the problem. The Green New Deal doesn’t substitute a universal basic income for other welfare programs. In the Green New Deal, the programs recommended are supposed to be additions, not substitutions.

“It’s a really hard system to support even in its ideal form,” de Rugy continued. “Then there’s this Green New Deal version which doesn’t even seem to entertain this notion of actually substituting for all the rest, so it’s on top of what we have now.”

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The real question we need to ask is whether or not the Democratic Party is actually going to support this. In its current form, the Green New Deal is a fantasy, and perhaps that’s what the more-sane Democrats are shooting for by supporting it. By giving it their attention now, they can work their way down to more reasonable proposals for everything from environmental protection to job creation programs to different versions of socialism.

In other words, they may be using the hyper-leftism of the Green New Deal as a gateway to get to the palatable leftism of what’s quickly becoming mainstream socialism.

The Green New Deal shouldn’t scare conservatives because it can’t happen. What should concern us is the end result negotiated down from this starting point. Given the GOP’s negotiating track record lately, we don’t know what we’re going to get when the Green New Deal is trimmed down to reality.

 


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Economy

Trump administration is optimistic about failing economic policies

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Trump administration is optimistic about failing economic policies

In an article I wrote last week following Trump’s campaign rally disguised as a State of the Union Address, I documented how his claim that his trade war and tax cuts had produced “the hottest economy in the world” were merely the rhetorical ramblings of a failed “Republican” running for re-election.

Trump’s trade war has created an economic hell that will take years to recover from, and his tax cuts have failed to provide tax relief for the middle class. In addition, when you throw Trump’s big-government spending into the mix, the federal deficit now exceeds $22 trillion.

The stock market fell late in 2018 and all gains made in the year were wiped out, a crash the administration blamed on Democrats and Fed Chairman Jerome Powell.

While the slide on Wall Street was dismissed as a market correction, recently released economic data from the Commerce Department shows that the overall economy ended the year much worse than the White House would have you believe.

U.S. retail sales recorded their biggest drop in more than nine years in December of 2018 as receipts fell 1.2 percent across the board. This is the largest decline in retail sales since Sept. 2009 when the economy was in a recession.

Trump brags about low unemployment numbers, but according to a Department of Labor report released yesterday, unemployment claims increased by 4,000 to a seasonally adjusted 239,000 for the week ending Feb. 9th.

While it’s tempting for some to dismiss yesterday’s report as an anomaly, let’s take a look at the data from another angle.

The four-week moving average of claims — considered a better measure of labor market trends because it irons out week-to-week volatility — was 231,750, an increase of 6,750 from the previous week’s revised average. This is the highest level for this average since January 27, 2018 when it was 234,000. The previous week’s average was revised up by 250 from 224,750 to 225,000.

Of course, the administration famous for identifying unfavorable news as “fake” went right to work trying to spin these economic failures into policy victories.

Saying that he was still “optimistic” about the economy, White House Economic Advisor Larry Kudlow called the retail sales number a “glitch,” and he invited the feds to “step aside” while praising the president for “ending the war on business.” He then parroted SOTU talking points about how the overall economy was “very strong” despite these recent reports.

There are those who label me a pessimist because I refuse to whitewash the political graffiti of optimism Trump and the GOP spray paint on their crumbling wall of lies and broken promises, but in the words of C. Joybell C.: “Some people are optimists. Some people are pessimists. I’m just a realist who believes that some things are worth fighting for.”

Originally posted on StridentConservative.com.

 


David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative. His daily radio commentary is distributed by the Salem Radio Network and is heard on stations across America.

Follow the Strident Conservative on Twitter and Facebook.

Subscribe to receive podcasts of radio commentaries: iTunes | Stitcher | Tune In | RSS

 


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